Practical M&V for Recommissioning Projects

Retrocommissioning (RCx) has become a popular Demand Side Management (DSM) measure in
recent years. Despite its rise in popularity there continue to be questions regarding the actual
savings and savings persistence attributable to these efforts.

RCx measures, by their nature are not hardware installations, but are rather operational changes
that do not provide DSM program managers and building owners the comfort of more tangible
energy conservation measures. Nevertheless, proper system operation is as important as proper
design and equipment efficiency for efficient and effective building operation.

Adding to the challenges is the nature of RCx measures: RCx projects generate significant
savings, but the measures themselves tend to be small, which makes the economics of doing
detailed energy performance measurement and verification (M&V) challenging.

This paper considers the costs and benefits of M&V for RCx, and puts the discussion in context
of a particular project. Through a case study, M&V methods for managing risks associated with
RCx services are explored.

The findings in this paper can be used to help better direct M&V for RCx for both public benefit
charge funded DSM programs and for projects financed through performance contacts between
Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) and end users.

Results from the case study may support development of general guidelines for selecting the most effective M&V options for commonly implemented RCx projects.

Illustration: Modified from Haasl, T. and Sharp, T. 1999. A practical guide for commissioning existing buildings, Office of Building Technology, US Department of Energy.